After an initial launch in select, limited markets Facebook dating is now available in the United States. The selling point of Facebook dating as noted by their PR firm is that it “is a separate experience within Facebook” and “takes the work out of creating a dating profile.” Let’s take a few seconds to digest that last quote from their press release.
Many users on dating apps are inherently lazy. Few take the time to write meaningful bios and thoughtful answers. If syncing data from Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram is not lazy enough then I can only imagine what will be in when you are forced to do even less work. Among the countless red flags I advise client to look out for is incomplete profiles and few photos.
“With one tap, we’ll suggest photos and information from your Facebook profile”
Successful dating requires time, effort, energy and sincerity. You can blow through the process of selling yourself without carefully curating information, stories, anecdotes etc.
I imagine the main focus for Facebook dating is to get users to fill in more information and to collect more info. Users of dating apps already give up plenty of personal info but now that data can possibly be synched with profiles giving one the largest data collectors of private information more data about you, your taste in profiles, messaging style etc. Aside from the privacy concerns, scammers use Facebook to collect publicly displayed information to target users whether it’s to obtain personal information to guess security questions, quickly bond with users over similar interests, or copy photos to create other profiles. Essentially Facebook dating reduces the number of steps a scammer needs to take to do this.
One feature from the press release that caught my eye is displaying public information about events.
“You can choose to see other people who are using Facebook Dating that fit your preferences within the groups you are part of and the events you have attended or will be attending. When you choose to see these people, you will also be visible to them.”
Sounds interesting but ask any woman on a dating site and you will hear countless stories of being stalked by past dates, unmatched matches or complete weirdos who saw their profile and tried to reach out through another platform. Displaying event attendee information will alert creeps to your whereabouts and notify scammers when you won’t be home.
The one possible redeeming feature of this service is the Secret Crush feature. Discover which of your friends is your secret crush with the double-opt in feature. If you two mark each other as a secret crush, both of you will be notified. If it is not mutual, no one will know except for you. Putting oneself out there is not a core personality trait among people on dating apps even among strangers so I find this feature may lack any signficant traction but it doesn’t need to – it just needs to sell hope.
The Preferred Dating App For Cheating
With that said, there is one feature of Facebook dating that can facilitate cheating more than any other app out there and that’s in the settings. Facebook unintentionally created a setting that gives users the option to avoid awkward interactions among friends and friends of friends. By doing so it also made it easier for people to create a dating profile while minimizing coming across people they know.
This coupled with the fact that you don’t need to download another (obvious) dating app makes it that much easier for people to cheat.
Full Circle, Return To Its Origins
Facebook started off as ‘The Facebook’ which was more or less a curated set of Hot or Not profiles for Harvard. It’s DNA is embedded in dating. It’s only fitting they try to come full circle and not only embrace their origins but also use it as a last ditch effort to regain users and data lost from all the privacy scandals it has endured the past few years.
For the time being, I highly recommend clients avoid using Facebook dating. There are plenty of other great dating apps that do a fine job depending on your demographics (age, location, gender, orientation and lifestyle). If you need help figuring out which app(s) are best for you contact me today.
Currently Facebook dating works with the mobile app and does not work yet on the desktop site or mobile site. You can adjust settings to allow for possible matches with friends via the Secret Crush feature or use the default that matches you with friends of friends (you can disable this as well and and match with non friends of friends only). For how to guide on how to activate Facebook dating, check out this article.
For additional safety tips read this guide. Stay safe out there, know how your information can be used.
EDIT: In case you need additional reasons to give pause on this new service, 400M user phone numbers exposed today.